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    Posted January 8, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Impact Your World

    Life Trials Inspire Songs for Awareness

    Growing up, I wasn't the most affluent residing among a wealthy local suburb of Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania, which is a community that is known for being bubble-like or close minded as well. In fact, my parents struggled. How and why? My parents were immigrants and they wanted a quality education for my two sisters and I. Therefore, they worked a dusk till dawn shift to support the entire family at a small Chinese restaurant. The problems didn't end there...my siblings and I all relied on each other and grew up independently. We've been through my dad's abuse and his daily drunk nights as kids when he used to rely on gambling as an outlet for the stress at work...
    And yes, I even saw my mom get abused...and how this all impacted my family...with my both my sisters spiraling and experimenting with drugs and alcohol..seeing one of them manipulated by men over and over again...In school, things weren't better...The newly scarred bruises were questioned by authoritative figures and the police...Nothing was done to settle the emotional damage done...and all they were doing was fulfilling their obligation so they wouldn't lose their jobs...What did they do? They tried to interrogate and get answers out of me and pit my family against each other in court...and press charges...
    I hid my feelings a lot in school and no one was really aware of what was going on...Most people thought I was just a happy, spontaneous easy target to pick on at school. I went out of my way to try to make people happy and laugh...I was made fun of...outcasted..and had no friends...no support...Yet, although what I'm saying right now so far might seem like a pity-party story where I expect you the readers to empathize with me...
    Its the other way around. I'm blessed. I'm blessed to have gone through these trials and to have been physically and verbally bullied...I admit..I have even considered suicide...and when I almost gave up on my life one night by suggesting how worthless I might be on Facebook. A classmate helped talk me out of it online...I told her everything...I did whatever I could by supporting and attending this person's events and anything else...She, however, did not feel the same and was among the majority that again shunned me at school. Conformity...but I don't blame her...
    These experiences and relying on music (I used to suck and get booed...by devoting myself to it every weekend and going out and trying to gain exposure through street performing, festivals, and what not...have helped me starting from the tender age at 15 to now where I'm 18...hone my musicianship and understand all these struggles that everyday people in my generation do not understand completely...and party instead or heard about them but never done anything individually about them...That' largely where my music have been derived from...writing about loneliness, poverty, and those issues...because I've gone through them...because not many songs that have meaning are played on mainstream radio today...and I know for a fact people can relate to each other if they share a common experience...I've heard too many songwriters and artists nowadays post songs that help raise awareness which is great and all..but I think the listener is more attentive to a musician if he or she has gone through that experience. And so far, despite these shortcomings, a lot has come about...
    This song I have enclosed here called Her that details that suicide experience and those times I've tried to befriend and appreciate this person has been published in several articles and even on radio stations...I guess the moral of the story is to always remain grateful even if things don't work out...and try to use whatever that might be painful as a drive to push yourself to work harder..at least that's what I've learned and forgiveness with yourself and respect...because I wouldn't be here without "Her". And who knows? May be one day...this person will turn around and realize...After all, we're both still teenagers...
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